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xavierjd
xavierjd, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20 yrs exp. in divorce, custody, visitation & support .
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Im in the beginning stages of a divorce. My kids are 15 and

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I'm in the beginning stages of a divorce. My kids are 15 and 17. I have stated to both kids that I would respect there choice of which parent they wish to be with. My spouse however has insisted that they want both kids and they don't have a choice.

My 17 year old has told my spouse that they wish to live with me. The spouse has stated that the 17 has no choice and will go with them.

What rights does my 17 year old have with where they want to reside?
Thank you for using JustAnswer.com It will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Where does your 15 year old want to live?

Thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my spouse

Hi,

Thanks for the information.

I want to look up a couple of things for you. I will be back with an answer for you asap.

Thanks for your patience.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Ok thanks

There are lots of considerations that the Court’s look at when determining a child custody decision. All of the considerations fall under the umbrella that is "what is in the best interest of the children" and what will promote the children’s happiness and welfare. However, the Court analyzes various sub-factors including but not limited to:
  • Which parent was traditionally the primary caregiver to the children
  • The availability of each parent to spend time and care for the children
  • The willingness of each parent to co-parent and share information with the other parent
  • The willingness of each parent to foster the children’s relationship withe the other parent
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the intellectual and emotional needs of the children
  • The nature and quality of each parent’s home environment
  • The children’s preference (usually only considered when a child is old enough to make a rational determination)
  • The quality of care each parent provides the children
  • The stability of the home life of each parent
  • Abuse, neglect, and domestic violence history for each parent
  • Alienation of the other parent and/or interference with the other parent’s visitation
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Age and health of the parents
  • Mental and emotional stability of the parents
  • Ability of parent to NOT involve the children in the marital conflict and custody case
  • Courts favor children continuing to reside with their siblings

In New York, an 18 year old person no longer subject to an order of custody. S/he can choose where s/he wants to live. Moreover, many courts will hesitate to influence the choice of a 16- or 17-year-old, unless the teenager has serious problems or his/ her choice seems unreasonable. The preference of the child is considered, as it may indicate which parent has bonded more with the child.

 

So, if your 17 year old wants to live with you, it is likely that the court will give his/her preference a great deal of consideration. Moreover, if your 17 year old is going into his/her senior year of high school, it is unlikely that the court will want to make him/her change schools--especially if your spouse lives in a different school district than you do.

 

I hope you find this information useful.

 

 

 

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I see that in your response you have the following:


Courts favor children continuing to reside with their siblings


 


While the main reason for my 17yo wanting to be with me is our


relationship we have, but they also would rather not remain with my 15yo.... That has been strained for a long time between the two of them.


 


Would this be considered as well?

Hi,

The Court will certainly take the relationship between the siblings into consideration when determining custody.

If the relationship between the siblings is strained, that may give the Court even more reason to allow your 17 year old to live with you and your 15 year old to live with your spouse. If it becomes necessary, the judge may interview the children as to each of their preferences as to who they want to live with and why.

Moreover, the closer that your 17 year old is to 18 before the divorce is finalized, there will really be no reason for him/her not to continue to reside with you.

I hope you find this information useful.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!


xavierjd and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Hi,

Thank you so much for the "excellent service" rating and the GENEROUS bonus! Both are greatly appreciated and I am glad that you found the information useful.

If you have future questions, you can specifically request me by name as the expert.

Thanks again, and good luck!

xavierjd

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